The article "Secret call log at heart of wiretap challenge" at http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/surveillance/2007-08-05-thedocument_N.htm?csp=34
describes how " In 2004, as the Treasury Department was considering whether to include the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, a prominent Saudi charity group on its list of terrorist organizations, Al-Haramain's Washington lawyer, Lynne Bernabei, asked to see the evidence.That's when, in a case of bureaucratic bungling, Treasury officials mistakenly handed over the call log - which has the words "top secret" stamped on every page - along with press clippings and other unclassified documents deemed relevant to the case.Six weeks later, the FBI was dispatched to Bernabei's office to retrieve it. But by then she had passed out copies to five other lawyers, a Washington Post reporter and two Al-Haramain directors - al-Buthi and Pirouz Sedaghaty, also known as Pete Seda. Still, the lawyers were unsure what they'd been given until December 2005, when The New York Times published a story exposing the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program. The attorneys involved in the Al-Haramain case suddenly realized that the call log was proof their clients had been eavesdropped on, and they sued.
What is so special about it? "The Document", described by those who have seen it as a National Security Administration log of calls intercepted between an Islamic charity and its American lawyers, is at the heart of what legal experts say may be the strongest case against the Bush administration's warrantless eavesdropping program. The federal appeals court in San Francisco plans to hear arguments in the case Aug. 15."
How stupid do they take us to be? This is like something out of Kafka's "The Trial" as " More than 50 other lawsuits pending before a San Francisco federal judge are awaiting the appeals court's ruling in the two cases, but none have the kind of hard evidence Al-Haramain purports to have - through its lawyers' recollections of the call log - that warrantless eavesdropping of American citizens occurred.
"The biggest obstacle this litigation has faced is the problem showing someone was actually subjected to surveillance," said Duke University law professor Curtis Bradley.But he said the Al-Haramain lawsuit "has a very good chance to proceed farther than the other cases because it's impossible for the government to erase (the lawyers') memories of the document."
The article "Judges Skeptical of State-Secrets Claim" at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/15/AR2007081502434.html states "Lawyers for the Bush administration encountered a federal appeals court Wednesday that appeared deeply skeptical of a blanket claim that the government's surveillance efforts cannot be challenged in court because the litigation might reveal state secrets."The bottom line here is the government declares something is a state secret, that's the end of it. No cases. . . . The king can do no wrong," said Judge Harry Pregerson, one of three judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit who grilled administration lawyers at length over whether a pair of lawsuits against the government should go forward.Deputy Solicitor General Gregory G. Garre was forced to mount a public argument that almost nothing about the substance of the government's conduct could be talked about in court because doing so might expose either the methods used in gathering intelligence or gaps in these methods.
"This seems to put us in the 'trust us' category," Judge M. Margaret McKeown said about the government's assertions that its surveillance activities did not violate the law. " 'We don't do it. Trust us. And don't ask us about it.' "
At one point, Garre argued that courts are not the right forum for complaints about government surveillance, and that "other avenues" are available. "What is that? Impeachment?" Pregerson shot back...."Is it the government's position that when our country is engaged in a war that the power of the executive, when it comes to wiretapping, is unchecked?" Pregerson asked. No, Garre replied, but he cited an earlier federal ruling that required courts to give "utmost deference" to security concerns.
"Well, what does 'utmost deference' mean?" Pregerson asked. Before Garre could reply, Judge Michael Daly Hawkins asked: "It doesn't mean abdication, does it? "Late in the proceedings, McKeown complained of feeling "like I'm Alice in Wonderland."
"The Trial" meets "Alice in Wonderland". W is telling us, to in another famous San Franciscan, Gracie Slick's lyrics, "To go ask Alice when she is ten feet tall"--in other words to screw off!
K could never find out what he was charged with and who his judges were. In W's vile US Justice system lawyers defending our civil rights can't keep, or even use documentation that wins their case, and can't even talk about it because of "state secrets".
states "Most legal observers say that a final resolution is likely to come from the Supreme Court. "What the 9th Circuit says won't be the final word," said Orin S. Kerr, a George Washington University law professor who specializes in national security issues. "There's going to be a long path before this is resolved."
This can be summed up as saying the article's headline can be answered by no-not at all. They'll call it something else and send up Gonzales again to lie to the US people. Democracies have checks and balances but we've never run into such a ruthless thug big bro 43.
W's boys in blue can lose here but is there no chance that the GOP goons that W stacked the US Supreme Court with--Roberts and Alito, won't support W!